If you were ever interested in reading a book about a marriage gone horribly, terrifyingly wrong, this is the book for you. If you wanted to read a book about a kidnapped woman that has a happy ending, do not–I repeat–DO NOT read this book. It’s a really sad, scary tale of the worst possible facets of human nature. The characters are all dark and twisty and they will make you feel dark and twisty, too.
That said, I liked it. It’s compulsively readable. I guess you could classify it as a thriller? Maybe a mystery? It’s more psychological thriller, perhaps? Maybe that’s some of what I liked about it–it was hard to classify. I don’t know that I’ve ever read anything quite like this novel.
In less than 600 pages, your loyalty will waffle again and again. You’ll be sure that the husband, Nick Dunne, is guilty. You might be a little bit right. Throughout the novel, I changed my mind so many times, it’s hard to remember exactly what I believed at each turn. The end is so mind-bendingly bizarre and horrible that I had to stop several times to let what was happening sink in. It’s a shock–let’s leave it there. I don’t want to ruin it for you.
I will say that I loved the way that this novel made me examine my own reactions so intensely. I found myself pulling for certain characters, and then I was absolutely horrified that I was on their side. Somehow, Gilliam Flynn was able to make me care deeply about even the most vile character; I believed their lies even when I know that they are lies. At times, I had to step back and stop to examine the way that I felt as the story progressed. I hated the way that I fell for the character’s lies, and I loved them no less for it. That, I think, was the most psychologically trying part of Gone Girl: the way that I reacted to the story.
This one would be a good book to choose when you have a lot of other things going on. You won’t have any problem turning off the television and opening this book.
The list so far:
12. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn